And billy carried the dog. He picked her up from her quaking legs in the parking lot and cradled her tenderly in his arms, part of it a hug and the other a carry, and he brought her into the clinic room where Melissa waited and closed the door behind them. He was about to set her down on all fours but a nurse rushed in with a blanket. “Wait!” she said. “Let me get this down for her.”
Billy thought nothing of it, straining under the weight of the dog. He knew that she never liked shiny floors, and that she would have troubles standing in the clinic room. The blanket made sense. Their floors at home were beautiful kempas hardwood stained dark chestnut, and they were covered entirely with throw rugs so she could walk about. A blanket made sense. He placed her down on her paws on the blanket and she looked at him, laid down and put her head down to rest. Billy and Melissa crowded around the dog, her stark white fur tussled and soft, and they ran their fingers through that fur from their respective places. And first Billy started to cry. And then Melissa did as well.